In the dying days of the old asylums, three paths intersect.
Henry was only a boy when he waved goodbye to his glamorous grown-up sister; approaching sixty, his life is still on hold as he awaits her return.
As a high-society hostess renowned for her recitals, Matty’s burden weighs heavily upon her, but she bears it with fortitude and grace.
Janice, a young social worker, wants to set the world to rights, but she needs to tackle challenges closer to home.
A brother and sister separated by decades of deceit. Will truth prevail over bigotry, or will the buried secret keep family apart?
In this, her third novel, Anne Goodwin has drawn on the language and landscapes of her native Cumbria and on the culture of long-stay psychiatric hospitals where she began her clinical psychology career.
A Tender & Warm-Hearted Read!
Written with real understanding!
Henry has never forgotten his sister Matilda. It’s sixty years since she went away and he has never given up hope of her coming back. Mattie endures days with staff looking after her, the highlights being when she does her recitals. Janice is a young social worker who hasn’t yet become jaded with what she sees on a daily basis and desperately wants to makes changes for the better but has other things to see to first. Will these lives come together and get things sorted for once and for all?
The first thing which drew me to this book was the cover; there’s just something about it which promises so much. It’s a really hard one to categorise – there is so much sadness between the pages and yet hope shines through. The writer’s empathy is obvious and there is a thread of lightness and humour throughout. Matilda is a wonderful character, expertly crafted, and a delight to read about. There is so much wrong with how things used to be done which is highlighted in this novel; it’s almost a social commentary and yet it’s told in such a lively, entertaining way. Anne Goodwin has demonstrated a real understanding of social history, the human psyche and the indomitable spirit in this tender and warm-hearted read. I was, however, a little disappointed that it wasn’t all wrapped up at the end as there is a sequel to come. I’m still happy to recommend this one though, and give it 4.5*.
My thanks to the author for my copy; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.
Tags: literary fiction
- Format: ebook, paperback
- Size: 418 pages
- Publisher: Inspired Quill
- Publication Date: 29 May 2021
- Book Details:
Anne Goodwin grew up in the non-touristy part of Cumbria, where this novel is set. When she went to university ninety miles away, no-one could understand her accent. After nine years of studying, her first post on qualifying as a clinical psychologist was in a long-stay psychiatric hospital in the process of closing.
Her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, about a woman who has kept her past identity a secret for thirty years, was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her second novel, Underneath, about a man who keeps a woman captive in his cellar, was published in 2017. Her short story collection, Becoming Someone, on the theme of identity, was published in November 2018. Subscribers to her newsletter can download a free e-book of prize-winning short stories.
- Website: annegoodwin.weebly.com
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